News Wrap: Sports court overturns Olympic doping bans for 28 Russian athletes

News Wrap: Sports court overturns Olympic doping bans for 28 Russian athletes


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Twenty-eight
Russian athletes who had been banned from the Winter Olympics for doping have now been
cleared by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport. The panel ruled there was insufficient evidence. It also reinstated seven gold medals won by
Russians at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. President Vladimir Putin hailed the decision
as he toured a vehicle factory in Rostov-on-Don. VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russian President (through
translator): I think we have to avoid euphoria on our side. We have to take it calmly. We are happy for the athletes supported, but
not everyone was fully cleared of charges. We have things to improve on our side for
sure. JUDY WOODRUFF: Russia is still banned from
the upcoming Winter Games in South Korea for state-sponsored doping. But the 28 athletes could compete, if the
International Olympic Committee agrees. The United States charged today that Syria
is still making and using chemical weapons. Unnamed Trump administration officials made
the accusation in various news accounts. They said it is — quote — “highly likely”
that Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad kept a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons after
agreeing to give them up in 2013. The stream of Syrians and others seeking political
asylum in Europe dropped last year, for the second year in a row. The European Union’s asylum agency says nearly
707,000 people in all applied for the special status. That is down 43 percent. Syrians made up the largest single group of
applicants, with more than 98,000. In Myanmar, new evidence today that the military
and Buddhist supporters massacred Rohingya Muslims. The Associated Press reports that it confirmed
at least five mass graves. Time-stamped cell phone video shows the remains
of one village burned to the ground. Human bones were found in pools of acid used
to prevent identification. In Seoul, South Korea today, a top U.N. official
said there must be a reckoning. YANGHEE LEE, United Nations Special Envoy
on Human Rights: Yes, I would think that these are part of the hallmarks of a genocide. I think Myanmar needs to get rid of this baggage
of, did you or did you not? And if proven that they did, then there has
to be responsibility and accountability. JUDY WOODRUFF: Myanmar denies all claims that
Rohingya Muslims have been systematically slaughtered. Kenya’s high court ordered today that three
TV stations be allowed to broadcast again, but the government ignored the order. The stations have been shut down since they
tried to air the mock inauguration of opposition leader Raila Odinga this week. Odinga’s supporters say President Uhuru Kenyatta
rigged last year’s election. Back in this country, the State Department’s
top career diplomat, Tom Shannon, announced that he’s retiring after 35 years. He cited personal reasons. His departure comes as President Trump faces
criticism for not filling a number of top diplomatic posts. The Arizona Statehouse today expelled a Republican
lawmaker over allegations of sexual harassment. Don Shooter is believed to be the first state
lawmaker to be dismissed since the MeToo movement began. Others have resigned or been stripped of leadership
positions. And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained 37 points to close at 26186. The Nasdaq fell 25 points, and the S&P 500
lost almost two points.

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